Jul 18

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #90; sinking fast.



I would rather not use the word “freefall” but the options are getting fewer. Realistically, I don’t see much cause for optimism. This is a team with too few healthy parts, and those that are, aren’t playing well. Can they turn it around? Yeah, it’s possible, but do you see any signs of life indicating they will?

I don’t.

I also don’t see any help on the horizon. Matt Holliday isn’t coming. Neither is Roy Halladay. Neither is Adam Dunn. Neither is anybody else of substance. The Mets simply don’t have the chips – without scuttling their farm system – to make a significant deal.

They will wait for Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran to get better and consider them as “the best trade we could make.” What nonsense. They weren’t playing well when those guys were healthy. As far as Carlos Delgado is concerned, frankly, I see him wanting to come back for only one reason, and that is to prove he’s healthy enough to sign with another team this winter.

They will add Julio Lugo to rest Alex Cora, but let’s face it, who really cares? The best thing about Lugo is it might force the Mets to release Tim Redding.

Johan Santana goes today in an effort to stop the slide. I can’t begin to count the times I’ve written that sentence this season. Trouble is, Santana has been less than an All-Star since he was roughed up in San Francisco. The home runs keep coming off him.

There were no signs of life in last night’s debacle. One has to wonder if internally the Mets aren’t thinking among themselves that it is over.

Jul 10

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #85; big help isn’t coming.



The Mets limp into their final series prior to the All-Star break without any concrete idea as to when Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran will be activated from the disabled list.

Carlos Delgado, if he comes back from a hip injury, won’t return until mid to late August.

The Mets need both pitching and hitting help, and the primetime names are Roy Halladay, Matt Holliday and Adam Dunn. The Mets aren’t likely get any of them because of their preference to hold on to top prospects Brad Holt, Jennry Mejia, Fernando Martinez and Ike Davis.

HALLADAY: Not coming to Mets.

HALLADAY: Not coming to Mets.

The Phillies, meanwhile, according to reports, are willing to deal top pitching prospects Kyle Drabek and Jason Knapp.

Philadelphia appears the frontrunner because of its willingness to part with young talent and being in the National League. The Blue Jays don’t want to trade Halladay within the division to the Yankees or Red Sox.

The Nationals say they won’t deal Dunn for the two-part reason or needing some gate attraction and having a reasonable salary of $10 million for next year. Vernon Wells can be had for a song, but nobody wants him because he has close to a $100 million balance on his contract.

It will be interesting to see what kind of game the Mets get out of Fernando Nieve tonight. After three strong starts after being called up, Nieve has hit the skids.

Jul 09

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #84; Martinez to Phils?



Word is the Phillies are close to signing free-agent Pedro Martinez to a one-year contract at $4 million which automatically brings another nightmare to the Mets’ world.

The Phillies have not commented, but the report is on several media outlets. The Phillies could be also in the market for Roy Halladay.

Meanwhile, the Mets, behind Livan Hernandez, will be trying to win this series with the Dodgers.

Here’s the line-up that will face Randy Wolf:

Luis Castillo, 2B
Nick Evans, LF
David Wright, 3B
Gary Sheffield, RF
Fernando Tatis, 1B
Ryan Church, CF
Omir Santos, C
Alex Cora, SS
Livan Hernandez, RP

Apr 23

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #15; Can somebody please go seven?



Sooner or later, it won’t be early anymore. Baseball seasons tend to get old quickly, like your old college roommate after at the reunion.

Damn, he was young and spry and had hair. He’s gotten so old.

Pitching tends to age even the best teams having pennant aspirations. The Mets are now Johan Santana and pocket change, with any of the four capable of going either way. That’s right, the rest of the rotation has morphed into Oliver Perez. Good one night; bad the next.

We have a pop group: Johan and the Four Coin Flips.

HERNANDEZ: Mets need him to go long.

HERNANDEZ: Mets need him to go long.

Can you honestly say you know Livan Hernandez will pitch lights out this afternoon? Nope. You count on five and hope he doesn’t implode the third time through the lineup.

John Maine? Well, he started out on the rocks last night and settled down late. By that time, the Mets’ listless offense had called it a night. Coming off shoulder surgery, Maine isn’t right and there’s no timetable that says he’ll be a 15-game winner again.

Mike Pelfrey? He’s been sandpaper smooth so far, and now he’ll try it again this weekend. He has facing the Washington Nationals going for him.

Yes, the Mets addressed their bullpen, but did precious little to shore up their starters, who barely got five these days save Santana.

The keys to the collapses the last two years have been the bullpen, specifically, over work of the pen. The Mets are already averaging 3.2 innings per game, which would be 514.2 innings on the season.

We’ll see how that 2.06 bullpen ERA stands up with that workload.

Somewhere down the road – three months at the trade deadline – the Mets might be confronted with some hard choices if they are to pick up a viable arm. That might mean losing Jon Niese or Daniel Murphy or F-Mart. It might mean losing two. It could mean all three if somebody like Jake Peavy or Roy Halladay are on the other end.

I was on a radio talk show last night in St. Louis and was asked if the Mets were good enough to win the World Series. Even with their dismal production with runners in scoring position they are if their pitching improves.

If it doesn’t, well, then it’s another long winter.

Apr 10

WANTED: Pitching

Sorry for the late post today.

I know it has only been three games, but I didn’t even need them to tell me the Mets still need to improve their starting pitching. After Johan Santana are you really convinced of what you’ll get from the other four in the rotation.

I believe in Mike Pelfrey, but his first start shows there are still growing pains. After reaching a career-high in innings pitched last season, will he hit a wall? There’s no way of knowing, but the assumption has to be made, and it has to be addressed.

John Maine goes tonight and he’s coming off shoulder surgery. Supposedly, it is minor, but everybody else’s surgery is always minor. Tonight will not be conclusive, one way or another.

Livan Hernandez is an innings eater at the end of his career. I liked the signing. Still do, but he is what he is. He’s a .500 pitcher these days, which is the definition of a fifth starter.

OK … Oliver Perez is next. He can be nails-on-a-chalkboard annoying to watch at times, such as yesterday. I don’t want to say the Mets can’t win with Perez, because afterall, he did win 15 for them two years ago. But, that’s looking more and more like a fluke.

Jake Peavy, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt could all be available come the end of July. The Mets can’t afford to be timid then. If it costs them F-Mart, then so be it. Quality pitching is more important anyway.